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People in Oxford explored the skeleton and the essential role our gut plays in our health, at last week's Oxfordshire Science Festival 2016.

NDORMS staff and students shared their research with the public and inspired the next generation of biomedical scientists, at the Town Hall and Templars Square.

Our interactive stall included a giant gut wall, clubfoot surgery models, arthritis gloves, looking down a microscope at inflamed joint tissue, a tabletop image card game, and our resident skeleton, Professor Skelly.

 Gut wall at OSF

Professor Fiona Powrie's group is focused on understanding the interaction between the bacteria in our gut and the immune system. The magnetic gut wall is the perfect way to demonstrate this process. 

The wall encourages people to think differently about our gut and the part it plays in keeping us healthy. Researchers from the Powrie Group and collaborators were at hand to discuss the role of different bacteria in the gut and how the group's research is leading international research into the link between gut bacteria and arthritis.

OA centre researchers were also available to discuss inflammation of the joints and various aspects of arthritis in its several forms.

 Chris Lavy at OSF 2016

At the Town Hall, Professor Chris Lavy explained the steps needed to deliver a successful clubfoot treatment, as well as how his group is changing the landscape for children born with clubfoot in low and middle-income countries.

Professor Lavy's Africa Clubfoot Training Project is delivering crucial training to healthcare professionals in 15 sub-Saharan countries, in partnership with CURE Ethiopia Children's HospitalCURE ClubfootGlobal Clubfoot Initiative (GCI)CURE International UK and local ministries of health, funded by the UK Department for International Development.

 Arthritis gloves at OSF 2016

At Templars Square, visitors to our stall had a chance to try an unusual pair of gloves - once on, the thick neoprene gloves limit your hand movements so you experience much of the same limitations as people suffering from arthritis in their hands (minus the pain). All of the sudden, opening a jar or using a spoon become difficult tasks and people commented how they gained a different appreciation for friends and relatives they had and suffered with arthritic pain.

Professor Peter Taylor's group aims to develop new treatments for people with musculoskeletal conditions, through innovative laboratory work and clinical trials.

His team and their international partners on Elector, a European telemedicine project funded by the European Commission, discussed their research with members of the public, demystified the differences between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, talked about the mobile blood test devices they are developing for use in the home and how they can transform the relationship of patients with their condition.

Taking place in the Town Hall on Sunday 26 June, and at Templar Square on Saturday 2 July, our exhibit formed part of the Oxfordshire Science Festival, which ran across the city from 23 June - 3 Jul.

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